Google Babel shows up in Gmail message and Google Groups

by: Derek RossApril 7, 2013

Tower of Babel

It’s now widely accepted that Google’s new unified chat service is named ‘Babel’.  The role that Babel will play between Google’s various chat services, unifying them, is a hat tip in itself to the Tower of Babel, pictured above. Babel is said to allow users to access the same conversation list from anywhere, offer fly-in conversations, advanced group conversations, improve notifications across devices, and of course allow sending pictures.

This morning  noticed while cleaning out his Inbox on Gmail a peculiar warning message. He received a popup, listed below, stating all of his conversations have been moved to trash, but some were still available in other Babel chat applications. We’ve independently verified that  Google has been internally using Babel for some time. This could mean Patric was chatting with someone that was using Babel internally at Google or this message will soon be standard procedure when deleting conversations.

Babel Gmail Message

If you still need additional proof that Babel is the official name of Google’s up and coming messaging service and that Babel is coming sooner than later, head on over to the Chromium Google Group. You’ll find various Google engineers discussing bugs related to Babel.

What steps will reproduce the problem?
1. Have gmail open with the old chat (not Babel)
2. Switch tabs to something else and have someone message you on chat

Use Babel. Current behavior is WIA, but based on an older design. New design was reached with GMail and we are matching mole titlebar height at 36px

Based on our 8/9 meeting, this is being investigated: @markdavidscott- Check to see if we can package Babel as an app (not an extension) so if you click the Talk icon on the Chrome OS launcher, it launches the chat roster.

When might we see Babel? Most likely at Google IO 2013 next month. We’re also keeping an eye  on April 15th when Eric Schmidt talks at AllThingsD: Dive Into Mobile event.

  • Alan Den

    I still think ‘Babel’ is a codename.

    • Mathew Knoell

      I think so too. But I really don’t care what it’s called if it functions well.

    • Larkhillv

      I actually kind of like the name Babel, although, I can see why some people might not. Either way, I think this will be a great shift for Google. If it’s not actually called Babel on release, I’m sure Google will have another cool name for it :)

  • Data1001

    A huge corporation naming a new project after the most infamous failed project in the Bible is a pretty ballsy move.

  • Shaler Wells

    It’s a reference to the Babel fish from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, not the tower of Babel.

    • Nicholas Loomans

      lol, the Babelfish is a reference to the tower…

      • Exactly.

        • Amon RA

          According to :

          A confused noise, typically that made by a number of voices.
          A scene of noisy confusion.

          Even in Dutch we say “Babbelen” which means “to talk”.

          • le_lutin

            The definition that you have described is spelt “babble” in english

          • Nicholas Loomans

            Which could have come from the story of Babel…?

  • Guest

    Rumor has it that Google’s offering $1 billion to WhatsApp ….

    Babel ~~ WhatsApp … connecting dots already ??

    • Don’t forget Meebo from last summer ;)

  • Ignacio Martín

    Apparently, Google is interested in buying whatsapp. Any news on this?

    • Omran Terro

      I hope that this is true cause it’ll be a great benefit to us and Google